Letter: Subterfuge in Saugerties School Board election

letter box sqI wanted to comment on the sinister plan revealed by George Heidcamp and Flo Hyatt in a letter to the paper last week. It is alarming to learn that in our very midst people are attempting to use the democratic process to influence government. That a group of concerned citizens should band together to amplify their voices, attempt to elect candidates who share their point of view and even, horror of horrors, expect entrenched elected officials and district employees to pay heed to their concerns is no doubt a subversion of the most troubling kind.

Read all of this week’s school letters in the print edition, on newsstands May 7-13.

The organization in question, PACE, uses this secretive acronym to disguise their true aim. Their hidden identity, you will all be shocked to know, is Parents Actively Committed to Education, a special-interest group with corrosive aims, such as reducing the importance of high-stakes tests. This is an issue which has had the disturbing result of uniting political conservatives and liberals to stand up against corporate and government collaboration in removing education from the sphere of public influence.


This heavy-handed and radical group has, if Ms. Hyatt is to be believed, encouraged people they felt positively about to run for the Board of Education with the express aim of diluting the influence of other board members with whom they did not agree! And when said candidates were elected, they ceased to issue demands or to try to direct their puppets, of which Ms. Hyatt alleges she was one. What kind of sick puppet master ceases to pull the strings when their puppet is elected? Perhaps we would have all been better served had this svengali’s minions not written in a decisive number of votes on Ms. Hyatt’s behalf (as many as 800, by her own account). It is very fortunate that Mr. Heidcamp was able to offer her an appropriate reeducation and co-author her letter when the puppet strings went slack.

Ms. Hyatt and Mr. Heidcamp inform us that these people have the nerve to express displeasure with the current board leadership and with Superintendent Turner’s ridicule of the concerns of a large number of parents about testing. What makes them think they have a right to influence elected officials, or those paid with taxpayer dollars? How dare they cast aspersions about these obviously tender and sensitive individuals? Don’t they know just to shut up leave the policy making to. Mr. Turner and Mr. Heidcamp?

What other conspiracies does PACE engage in? Public forums on issues in education! Ms. Hyatt and Mr. Heidcamp did not mention it, but PACE actually organizes public forums where anyone can ask questions and brainstorm about hot topics in education, from high stakes testing to funding. These sinister covens are open to the public and advertised in advance, no doubt as a ruse to discourage people from coming and voicing their opinions.

And now other people are running for the board, who may disagree on some issues with currently serving members . Why is this happening? It’s something called democracy, a sinister plan by members of a self-interest group known as voters to participate in influencing taxpayer-funded institutions.

Good thing Ms. Hyatt and Mr. Heidcamp have alerted us to this threat to his continued benevolent rule.

Henry Mangione